Vaping Products Are Now Available In Two UK Hospitals Thanks To Support From Public Health England
The policy update provides the first real test of hospitals using vaping products as an effective tool to help people quit smoking.
There is no shortage of different ways legislators have attempted to handle the growth of vaping over the last ten years. Some places have remained entirely against vaping, while many others have shown caution when it comes to them getting too popular.
That said, some places have quickly identified all the benefits of vaping and made them a top priority for smoking cessation programs. The UK has been at the front of the pack in this regard for many years now, and they’re doing it once again.
Two hospitals in the UK are now offering vaping products to patients and guests, with Public Health England pushing for more hospitals to join the fray. The vaping community has celebrated the news, as it once again provides proof that when properly handled, e-cigarettes can be incredibly powerful devices.
Not everyone was as happy, with many critics against the idea of any nicotine products being available at medical facilities. However, the officials behind the plan remain confident it will be a resounding success and lead to more institutions joining in.
Leader Once Again
Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich and City Hospital Birmingham have both begun offering vaporizers while their trusts introduce a fine for anyone caught smoking on hospital property. These moves were made as part of the UK government’s broader push toward eliminating tobacco use by the year 2030.
They’ve been leading the charge for quite some time, with consistently innovative plans to maximize the value of vaping. In addition to providing vaporizers to smokers at public health facilities, their latest program also converts any existent cigarette shelters into vaping only areas.
Public Health England has been advocating all trusts in the nation opt for smoke-free policies and provide similar vaping programs, but only around a third have formally set a date for either. Interestingly, their report notes that the number of adult vapers has increased by over 70% in just the last couple of years, jumping from 3.7% to 6.3% between 2014 and 2018. The vast majority of those adults chose to pick up vaping because they wanted to quit smoking once and for all.
John Dunne, director of the UK Vaping Industry Association, summed up the importance of this fight when he said, “Prohibitive policies that treat vaping in the same way as smoking simply continue to expose people to tobacco harm and run the risk of missing out on the massive public health prize represented by vaping.”
What The Evidence Says
Public Health England has been at the forefront of vaping research for many years now. They were one of the first major institutions to conclude that vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking, back in 2015.
In the years since we’ve gained a lot more research which confirms vaping is much safer than continued smoking. Research out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute from the end of last year found toxicants in vapor are around 93% lower than in cigarette smoke. Even more impressively, a report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences concluded that the excess lifetime cancer risk of vapers is around 57,000 times lower than demographically similar smokers.
Looking past the harm reduction research, and we still have a ton to love about vaping. For instance, researchers have begun to agree that vaping is one of the most effective smoking cessation tools we currently have at our disposal. In fact, a study out of the University of Louisville concluded not only is vaping an effective quit aid, but it may be more likely to work than anything else.
Finally, concerns over the impact on teens have also been proven to be overblown. A report by Action on Smoking and Health of over 60,000 teens concluded only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping more than a few times. This means even fewer could possibly be ending up smokers because of vaping.
Anytime a respected institution like Public Health England goes to bat for vaping, it’s a cause for celebration. We simply need more things like this to happen if we want to ensure and protect our vaping rights into the future.
If we fail to fight now, it may not be very long before we wake up in a world where vaping is merely a shell of its former self. The countless lives lost from vapers returning to smoking alone would be a tragedy, not to mention everyone who never gets the chance to understand what vaping has to offer.
That’s why we must use the time we have to tell our leaders that vaping must be protected for all its harm reduction and smoking cessation purposes. If the UK can successfully implement vaping products in hospitals, it gives hope that other places could soon follow suit.
Do you think it’s a good idea for vaping to be sold in hospitals? What’s the best way to support the vaping community? How could vaping programs be more effective in your opinion? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.